CHICAGO (STMW) – Two firefighters were injured Tuesday fighting a blaze in the Hamilton Park neighborhood as high temperatures and humidity caused uncomfortable conditions for responding firefighters.

The small fire began in a two-story building about 3:30 p.m. near West Marquette and South Green streets, Fire Media Affairs Director Larry Langford said. The fire was in the rear of the first and second floors.

One firefighter suffered heat exhaustion and another suffered a minor back injury, Langford said. One of the firefighters was hospitalized in good condition, while the other was treated on the scene.

Langford said hot temperatures caused uncomfortable conditions for the firefighters.

“Fighting fires in high humidity with the heat index over 100 degrees, it’s just not easy,” Langford said. He called firefighter equipment like having a “portable oven” around them.

The building was vacant at the time of the fire.

Action Now, a community organization dealing with vacant property issues, said organizer Braden Listmann happened to be in the area surveying vacant buildings when he saw the fire and called 911. The group said the block is full of vacant buildings and if he had not been there no one might have been there to call the fire department.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2011. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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